Driving Electric is Good for the Planet… and your Wallet
Why is an environmental organization like Annapolis Green advocating for driving electric? We do so because driving electric eliminates pollution on the road — right where you are breathing. About 80% of the carbon load on our atmosphere comes from the transportation. Driving electric is one thing almost everyone can do to combat the effects of Climate Change that threaten our planet, and life as we know it today. Besides, they’re becoming pretty normal now, not to mention, stylish, convenient, and less expensive than you think!
Why Drive Electric?
Electric Vehicles that run on batteries (without a back-up gasoline engine, as some have) produce no noxious emissions. There is no choking pollution coming out of a tailpipe. In fact, there is no tailpipe. An electric car gives you a nearly silent drive that does not harm the lungs of the people behind you — or you, for that matter.
Added benefits: EVs are fun to drive (you meet a lot of nice, curious people), are less expensive to operate and fuel than gasoline-powered vehicles, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
What about the electricity?
Yes, there is the issue of where the electricity to power electric vehicles comes from. Today, most of our electricity still comes from coal-fired plants. But that is changing and changing fast. Utilities are required by the State of Maryland to increase renewable sources for their plants. The current legally mandated requirement is for utilities to be run by 25% renewables by next year, 2020, and that is expected to increase with each passing year. Further, while the power plants do produce greenhouse gases, they are still more energy efficient than an individual gas or diesel-powered vehicle is on the road.
Regarding the effect on your power bill if you charge at home, it will go up only slightly — as if you’d plugged in a small refrigerator. Your power company can provide some comparison figures. If you have solar power, even better! Then you’re driving courtesy of the sun.
What about purchase and maintenance cost?
Today, there are at least 13 all-electric and 13 hybrid (those with a back-up gasoline engine) automobile models with a base price under the $34,500 average cost for a gasoline-powered car. (Click on the image , or here, for a listing of cars and their cost, range, and more) There are quite a few luxury models as well. But here is the important part: Once you buy or lease an all-electric EV, there is almost NO maintenance. There is no oil or transmission fluid to change. You will still have to have your tires rotated, brakes checked and your windshield wipers replaced periodically, but that’s it.
Regarding the brakes, most EVs have regenerative braking capability, that is, hitting the brakes or slowing down results in some power being returned to the battery. You could say the car is making its own power at that point. You can also stop or slow down most EVs via a small pedal on the steering wheel. That means you can stop the car without engaging the brakes.
The advantages of braking without the brakes include lower maintenance costs (the brakes will last longer) and less brake pad pollution in the air.
Are there government incentives?
The federal tax credit, $2500 to $7500, is for new EVs purchased in the United States and varies by the type of car and the capacity of its battery. Here is the info right from the IRS.
The Maryland excise tax credit is now up to $3000 for qualified plug-in vehicles, however, demand surged and the fund has been used up. When the General Assembly provides additional funding, applications will once again be accepted. Read more.
There is also a Maryland rebate program for the installation of certain chargers. Read more.
What about charging time, convenience and cost?
Driving electric is a time-saver. With a gasoline-powered car you have to make time to refuel. You can’t do anything else while that is happening. And you have to do it often. Most EV drivers charge their cars at home while they are relaxing or doing something else. Or they might charge at a shopping center or restaurant or at work — again, while doing something else. And there is no gasoline smell on your hands after you use a charging cord.
And finally, electricity costs less than gasoline. It’s that simple. The US Department of Energy has a calculator that will show you how an “e-gallon” costs half what gasoline costs. Just for comparison, if it costs $2.72 to fuel a gasoline car, the equivalent cost of fueling a battery-powered electric vehicle is $1.22.
There are three charging levels.
Level 1 is a simple wall plug. It’s slow but it works just fine.
Level 2 is faster and is what you most often see in shopping centers, for example. Level 3 is the fastest charging. Those chargers are often found on major highways.
Much of the charging away from home is free although for many you must establish an account with a network like ChargePoint, EV-Go, or SemaConnect for the convenience of swiping your membership card to start the charging process or to pay, if that’s applicable. Still, even if you do pay for charging, overall it will cost less than fueling a gasoline-powered car. See above.
There are many tools available to help you find charging away from home whether nearby or for a longer trip. They include:
This just basic information about driving electric. If you would like to join the more than 20,000 people who are driving emissions-free in Maryland, here are some additional sources of information:
- Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, D.C. (EVA-DC)
- Maryland EV
- Sierra Club EV Guide
- BGE’s EVsmart
Annapolis Green Events
for National Drive Electric Week 2020
Annapolis Green was excited to bring you National Drive Electric Week, September 26-October 4, a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of and options for driving electric! EVs are fun to drive and one of the best things you can do to mitigate Climate Change. Besides, they’re becoming pretty normal now, not to mention, stylish, convenient, and less expensive than you think! We think that’s pretty Kick Gas!
Wednesday, September 30
EVs Hit the Avenue! – An Electrifying Evening of Cars & a Fundraising Dinner!
EVs Hit the Avenue – 6 – 8 pm
In the Maryland Avenue Recovery Zone, 4 to 6 EVs were parked on the Avenue while it was closed to car traffic but open for outdoor dining. The EV owners (and dealers) answered questions about their cars. (Everybody wore a mask.) People learned about the benefits of driving electric — for your wallet and the planet.
Vehicles in attendance:
Chevrolet Bolt (including a Bolt police patrol car!)
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model X
customized Chevrolet Volt
Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle
Fundraising Dinner – 4 – 10 pm
Annapolis Founding One Hundred supporter Galway Bay Irish Restaurant on Maryland Avenue offered a delicious dinner under the stars (or inside) to benefit Annapolis Green! Thank you!
Galway had great music from 6 to 9pm: Timmie Metz, who is featured in a fun music video at our October 1 event, below.
And we had entertainment! With the Maryland Theatre for the Performing Arts leading the way, we put on your dancing shoes and did the Electric Slide — only it was the Electric Ride!
Thursday, October 1, 8 – 9:30 pm
Kick Gas! Annapolis Green Celebrates Drive Electric Week Virtually!
On October 1 we Zoomed in and virtually showcased various models of the more than 40 plug-in vehicles available today in a fun, interactive way. We heard from owners and learned what driving electric is all about. There were even virtual test drives.
Not your typical Zoom meeting – ours was fun AND informative. Here are the videos presented:
- A really cool music video for AM-FM featuring Timmie Metz and Tambo
- EV 101 – how driving electric is good for the environment and your wallet
- Driving electric is good for climate and your health
- Ribbon cutting of the EV Chargers at the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library featuring:
- Anne Arundel County CEO Skip Auld
- Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles
- County Executive Steuart Pittman
- Did you know that the County has set a goal convert the county fleet all-electric in the next 15 years? Read more about the initiative.
- Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley
- BGE Utility of the Future Principal Sam duPont
- Short interviews with EV drivers
- BGE presentation about how home charging affects your electric bill and what residential rebates are available for home charging equipment
- Virtual test drives featuring
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle (Yes! It’s electric!)
- Porsche Taycan Turbo
- Drive with the Sun
- How you can charge your car from the sun with community solar (no panels) or from panels on your rooftop
- A hilarious virtual tour of EV charging stations in our area featuring our summer interns
Friday, October 2, 4 – 9 pm
Kick Gas! – EVs Hit the Street – West Street, that is
In the West Street Recovery Zone, ten EVs were parked on the Street while it was closed to car traffic but open for outdoor dining. The EV owners answered questions about their cars. (Everybody wore a mask.)
Vehicles in attendance:
Chevrolet Bolt (including a Bolt police patrol car!)
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model 3
Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle
And how about this… West Street prepared special “electrified” drinks!
- The Supercharger from 49 West: Rise Up espresso, vodka, and coffee liqueur!
- The Cosmocello from Luna Blu: Limoncello, lemon vodka and a splash of cranberry.
- The Electric Grandmother from Tsunami: Just Guess what’s in it!
- The Solar Cell from Stan & Joe’s: Fresh squeezed orange juice with orange vodka and a splash of soda water — a great way to recharge your batteries!
- The Electric Lemonade from Ram’s Head Tavern: Vodka, Blue Curaçao, sour mix, and Sprite.
Thank you to our Kick Gas! sponsors
Thank you to our Kick Gas! partners
Merchants of inner West Street, merchants of Maryland Avenue, Downtown Annapolis Partnership, City of Annapolis’ Office of Economic Development and Office of Environmental Policy, Anne Arundel County Public Library, and the Office of the County Executive.
See our 2020 Drive Electric Earth Day Video
Our last Annapolis Electric Vehicle In-person Showcase
Saturday, September 14, 2019
11 am – 5 pm
There’s an Electric Car in Your Future!
Many people joined Annapolis Green at Susan Campbell Park, also known as City Dock, at Annapolis’ beautiful Historic Harbor, for our 2019 Electric Vehicle Showcase. With the gorgeous backdrop of sailboats, powerboats, kayaks and paddleboards, they chatted with enthusiastic owners of electric vehicles of all kinds (and dealers too) and learn what it’s like to drive with that EV smile!
The purpose of the Showcase was to inform the public about how driving electric benefits the environment in terms of air and water quality and how zero-emissions help to ameliorate Climate Change. The event was part of National Drive Electric Week 2019 (Sept. 14-22), a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. Our event’s premier sponsor was BGE.
What made this event unique is that the vast majority of the participants – that is, those who brought vehicles for display – are individual owners. This enthusiastic advocacy allows us to encourage the public to “hear from owners about what it’s like to drive electric.” A number of dealerships and manufacturers’ representatives participated as well.
12:30pm Driving Electric’s Effect on Climate Change
Ron Kaltenbaugh, President, Electric Vehicle Association of Greater DC
1:30pm BGE’s EVsmart Program & How Home Charging Affects Your Electric Bill
Kristy Fleischmann Groncki, Manager of Strategic Programs, BGE
2:30pm Government Incentives & Programs
Colleen Turner, Assistant Director
Office of Planning & Capital Programming, Maryland Department of Transportation
3:30pm You CAN Take a Long Trip in an EV
Scott Wilson, Vice President, Electric Vehicle Association of Greater DC
Member, Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council
Special Showcase Features
- BGE’s all-electric, full-size bus!
- Hyattsville Police Department’s all-electric Chevrolet Bolt patrol car and all-electric Zero patrol motorcycle
- The following models were represented:
- Audi e-tron
- BMW i3
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Chevrolet Volt
- Fisker Karma
- Ford C-MAX Energi
- Ford Focus Electric
- Hyundai KONA Electric
- Nissan LEAF
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model S
- Tesla Model X
- Think City
- Toyota Prius Prime
- Zero Motorcycle
Annapolis Showcase Sponsors
Premier Sponsor: BGE
BGE’s EVsmart℠ Program – leading the charge for Electric Vehicles
BGE’s EVsmart Program gives customers the tools, incentives and information they need to charge their electric vehicle (EV) faster, smarter and more conveniently than ever before. Through BGE’s EVsmart online toolkit, customers can apply for a charger rebate, learn the basics of EV charging, use savings calculators to compare the cost of gas-powered versus electric-powered vehicles, view state and federal tax incentives available for EV owners and locate an EV dealer in their area.
BGE residential customers who purchase and install select Level 2 smart chargers may be eligible for a $300 rebate. Upgrading to a Level 2 smart charger allows EV owners to charge their vehicle significantly faster than with a standard Level 1 charger and lets them track their energy usage through an optional smartphone app. Multifamily property managers and owners can also receive up to $25,000 in incentives for the installation of Level 2 or DC Fast Chargers at their property.
This fall, BGE will also launch a public charging network throughout central Maryland. Once completed, EV drivers will have the option of charging their vehicle at 500 chargers throughout BGE’s service area. Exhibiting: Learn more about BGE’s EVsmart online or at the Showcase.
Neighborhood Sun — You don’t need solar panels on your roof to enjoy solar benefits! It doesn’t matter if you rent, lease or own your home. You can take advantage of community solar if you pay a utility bill. Community solar farms are located throughout the Maryland area & your panels are located within one that is closest to you. You get credit on your electric bill for your portion of a nearby solar project. Maryland utility customers are guaranteed to save at least 5% on their electric bill. Learn more. Exhibiting: Bring your electric bill to the EV Showcase and learn how you can have your power supplied by the sun, save money, AND support Annapolis Green.
Chesapeake Bay Trust — The Trust’s Chesapeake Bay license plates help restore the Chesapeake Bay and other natural resources of our region by funding grants CBT provides to schools, community groups, and other not-for-profits for K-12 environmental education, restoration and protection of our waterways. By upgrading your Maryland license plate to a Chesapeake plate for only $20, you can show your support for the environment. And with the Plate Perks Program, you can make your $20 investment back quickly! Exhibiting: CBT staff will be available at the Showcase to answer your questions. Learn more.
Other Event Exhibitors
Citizens’ Climate Lobby empowers people to experience breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. The Annapolis chapter is just one of hundreds of chapters across the world working to create the political will for a livable world. CCL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization.
The Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, D.C. is an organization of electric vehicle owners, educators and enthusiasts dedicated to promoting the use of electric vehicles as an environmental and energy benefit to society. EVADC was formed in 1980 as a chapter of the nationwide Electric Auto Association, and holds regular monthly meetings, public displays, car shows and tech sessions to exchange information.
The Steer subscription is a pay month-to-month program that allows you to drive a variety of electric and hybrid cars, with everything included to hit the road. You can continue, pause, or cancel the subscription at anytime and you can swap your ride to a different vehicle at any time — no commitment to just one car.
Participants learned about Tesla models from Tesla reps and individual owners who registered to participate with their personal cars.
Thank You for Helping Annapolis Green Make this Event a Success
Tom Guay • Downtown Annapolis Partnership • Kevin Brooks
Absolute Party Rental — Absolute Party Rental is proud to be celebrating 30 years as a locally owned and operated business in Anne Arundel County. Serving all of Maryland and the surrounding areas, the company offers competitive pricing and excellent customer service for party rental needs including tents, tables, chairs, china, flatware, glassware, and linens. Learn more.
Our event was presented in collaboration with